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Councillor calls for Preston to become an ‘Autism Friendly’ city

Posted on - 29th January, 2020 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - People, Politics, Preston News
Councillor Daniel Duckworth, centre, is sleeping out at Deepdale for the Big PNE Sleep Out
Councillor Daniel Duckworth (middle) wants more support for those with autism

Members of the Conservative group are calling on Preston City Council to work towards the Autism Friendly accreditation.

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The award from the National Autism Society recognises efforts being made to make public services and spaces more accessible for people with autism and learning disabilities.

Cllr Daniel Duckworth, who has Aspergers Syndrome (an Autistic Spectrum Condition), proposed a motion that Preston City Council works towards the award, at a meeting of the full council on Thursday January 30. It was approved unanimously.

He says: “I feel as a council we can play a major part in the community by raising awareness and challenging stigma and prejudice surrounding learning disabilities.

“We recognise some good work has already been done but there is always more we can do.”

Preston City Council is already a Disability Confident employer, and a number of policies to support those with additional needs.

But Cllr Duckworth says: “It would be great if Preston City Council could strive to achieve to be an autism and learning disability friendly city and achieve the autism friendly award from the National Autistic Society in order to start a conversation and drive change within the wider city. “

Read more: Interfaith event arranged in Preston in response to controversial Netflix series

Autism affects more than 1 in 100 people in the UK with at least 700,000 people diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Condition.

It is a lifelong condition which affects the way people experience the world and interact with others.

Figures from the National Autistic Society show 79 per cent of people with Autism and 70 per cent of families said they feel socially isolated with 50 per cent of people and families saying they sometimes don’t go out because of concern about people’s reaction to their autism.

Cllr Duckworth, said: “Each venue that achieves the Autism Friendly Award will be helping to make the UK a more autism-friendly place by opening their doors to autistic people and their families whose lives are affected daily by businesses that do not understand their needs.”

Read more: ‘Try Everything’ video shows off the work of children at Royal Cross school

For more information about autism, visit the National Autistic Society website.

Do you think there needs to be more support for those with invisible disabilities such as autism? Let us know in the comments.

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